A Prime Seat at the new White House Awaits
I was heartened to see Dr. Steven Hahn yesterday, explaining why the FDA, the agency that he leads, is now approving the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). One of the things that stood out for me was how he went out of his way to ensure the American people knew that “external pressure” did not play any part in the process.
We all know to whom he was referring. It’s the politically correct way of saying that the current president’s ranting and threatening behavior was not what drove the decision. He can tweet and boast all he wants about the vaccine only coming to fruition because of him. His supporters will believe it, of course. But the real reason it happened was because of one thing: Science. And that, folks, is what has me optimistic about our future.
Because without a doubt, the incoming Joe Biden/Kamala Harris administration is already showing us that science will be a guiding force in their decision-making process. The team he’s putting into place, by all accounts, is an impressive group. And knowing that Dr. Anthony Fauci has already accepted a position to be Biden’s chief medical adviser makes it that much better.
No more snake oil magic elixirs. No more bogus conspiracy theories. And indeed, no more policy based on quack doctors who go on Fox News. Change is coming, and frankly, it cannot come fast enough. In a little less than 40 days, facts will again become part of the White House’s day-to-day operations – a welcome respite from the radical propaganda and lies spewed forth by whatever sycophant they threw at us the past four years.
I have to admit, I’ve been very skeptical about this vaccine. The rapid approval process is unprecedented – but so is the disinformation and lies from the current administration. You cannot trust a word they say.
But that doesn’t mean that we do not have competent and intelligent people working throughout our government. The career scientists and research people in all the different agencies have been doing their jobs throughout the nearly four-year nightmare that’s finally about to end.
They work every day, take their jobs seriously, and serve the American people with distinction. In other words, this vaccine came to fruition as fast as it did, despite the person at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And I’ve got to think it’s been the career people who’ve saved us from much worse. We may never know how much.
As you may have heard, the UK approved the Pfizer vaccine a week or two before we did. But that’s ok because they do not have the same process of approval that our government mandates. For the most part, they rely more on the words and data of the manufacturers. On the other hand, we use the FDA to analyze all aspects of the data submitted with the vaccine application, including manufacturing and individual data.
Additionally, British regulators didn’t hold a public meeting on the Pfizer application. In contrast, the FDA did – on Thursday, broadcasting the day-long independent advisory committee’s meeting going over all of the data. That committee eventually voted to approve the vaccine, sending their findings to the FDA, who formerly approved it for distribution.
That extra level of transparency, coupled with the independent advisory committee’s recommendation, gives me much more confidence that the vaccine is safe, although just like everything else, nothing is one hundred percent. There’s always going to be a risk. We all have to make the final judgment as to whether we’re going to take the vaccine. Right now, I’m leaning towards taking it, although it’s going to be several months before I even have a chance. As more and more people take it, we’ll get to see in real-time if there are any significant side-effects.
The distribution process is a whole other thing. We know there will be issues. With something as complicated as this, it’s almost inevitable. But knowing that the Biden administration will be responsible for most of the distribution in the months ahead gives me hope that they will admirably handle the task. If November 3, 2020, had produced a different outcome, I’m not so sure I’d be as receptive to the idea of taking this vaccine.
Finally, though, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel, although we’re still months away from really seeing it shining brightly. Maybe we are at the beginning of the end. But, unfortunately, we’re now entering the most dangerous phase yet of this pandemic. I’m so tired of it, and I know all of you are as well. Thousands will lose their lives in the coming days, and the tragedy of that prospect – which we know shouldn’t be happening – makes it all much more difficult to accept.
But a glimmer of hope is undoubtedly better than continued despair. Science will soon have a prime seat at the highest echelons of government – not to be scorned and laughed at – but valued and listened to. And it’s not just about the virus either. After all, the dire consequences of climate change are upon us, and the failures of the current administration have set us back years.
However, I’m confident we’ll have the right people in place to get us back on track. Radical Trump Executive orders will go away, treaties and agreements joined again, and the smart people are replacing the dimwits. Yes, change is coming.
Do any of you remember the 1980s song, “She Blinded Me With Science?” by Thomas Dolby? For some reason, that song’s been playing in my head quite a bit in recent days. I’m all in on the geeky scientists having a welcome ear in the White House. I’m sure they are as well.